In 2006, the announcement of a book by OJ Simpson in which he would give an allegedly hypothetical account of the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and Ronald Goldman made waves.
Originally titled “O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened,” the book was to be published by ReganBooks, a division of HarperCollins. Shortly after the announcement, the book was canceled following outrage over Simpson profiting from the deaths.
He was acquitted of the murders in 1995, but was found liable for the wrongful deaths of Brown and Goldman in a 1997 civil suit.
In 2007, the Goldman family was awarded rights to the book by a Florida bankruptcy court and went through with the publication, changing the title to “If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.”
The book includes commentary from the Goldman family on why they went through with the publication, as well as a prologue written by the book’s ghostwriter, Pablo Fenjves, in which he describes his meetings and conversations with Simpson. An afterword written by journalist Dominick Dunne and an epilogue by Goldman-family attorney Peter Haven are also included.
FX’s dramatization of the murder trial, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” premiered on Tuesday.
Here’s an overview of the book’s chapters, in which Simpson accounts his life with Nicole Brown before the murders that night:
Chapter 1: OJ Simpson focuses on his first failed marriage to Marguerite Whitley and how he met and developed a relationship with Nicole Brown. Simpson describes his “pretty near storybook marriage” to Brown, but paints her as physically violent and says she had a “real temper on her.” He claims that she was always the instigator of the fights that led to the deterioration of the couple’s marriage.
Simpson and Brown dated for a number of years before his divorce with his first wife was finalized. He mentions a fight in 1984 that resulted in Brown calling the cops after he “accidentally” hit one of the rims on her car with a baseball bat. He proceeded to whack the hood of the car, too, but no charges were filed and the two got married in 1985. He also goes into the 1989 altercation between them that resulted in him pleading no contest to spousal abuse. Simpson was convicted and put on probation, completed community service hours, and paid a fine.
Chapter 2: With an understanding that his marriage was over, the second chapter goes into the couple’s divorce and Brown’s alleged obsession with getting back together.
This chapter also introduces Paula Barbieri, his on-again/off-again girlfriend at the time of the murders.
Chapter 3: Simpson and Brown make a plan to try and make their relationship work for a year, but more problems arise.
Simpson talks about how he hates his ex-wife’s group of friends, whom he describes as “hookers and drug dealers and unsavory characters.” The chapter also includes transcripts of two 911 calls made by Brown about Simpson in 1993.